Southern Textile Association Annual Meeting 2015 Highlights

PA Group Employees Bob Buechel, Evan Bissonette, and Jonathan Eakes

The 2015 Southern Textile Association held their annual meeting June 14-16 during the heat of early summer in Hilton Head, SC with the aim of drawing together the influential leaders and visionaries of the textile industry in the Southeast. It was held jointly with the Fiber Buyers Groups and was centered on the theme “The Renaissance of the U.S. Textile Industry…An Industry Vital to the U.S.” As was the case in past years, the event did not disappoint – we were treated to a number of engaging presentation topics and speakers, a slew of enjoyable activities, and valuable networking opportunities. PA Group was proud to be a premier sponsor of the event for the third year in a row, and we were happy to be among textile industry peers to learn, connect, and enjoy ourselves.

Some of the fun took place on the golf course, where old friends and new acquaintances got together to sink birdies and also watch golf balls sink to the bottom of alligator-infested ponds. Attendees also had the option to make the short walk down to the beach to take in the ocean air and beautiful sights that have made Hilton Head, SC such a desirable destination. It was beautiful to say the least, with palm trees and green grass everywhere, and was a great time to connect with friends old and new.

Before the activities started on Monday afternoon, a breakfast was held to give awards in honor of individuals who have worked hard to serve the STA and the textile industry as a whole. The new Southern Textile Association President, Todd Weymss of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, was also introduced.

After the breakfast, we were able to listen to a presentation by the CEO of Allenborg Cotton Co., breaking down the challenges faced by the cotton industry in this new age of synthetics. With consumer demand dwindling, foreign governments hoarding safety stock, and other uncertainties causing the cotton producers of America to be nervous, there has to be a change in how they operate according to the cotton industry leaders. The next two speakers gave us a breakdown of the industry from a support perspective. The Director of US Manufacturing for Walmart was in attendance to talk about the steps they are taking to support American manufacturers by hosting a summit to discover new products. The CEO of Picanol Group was there to talk about his outlook of how a global middle class will bolster the textile industry around the world. These were really interesting takes on the state of the industry, and offered a great, wide range of viewpoints.

Southern Textile Association 2015 Annual Meeting Conference Speaker

The second day brought another round of engaging presentations given by the President & CEO of the National Cotton Council of America and another by the co-founder of OOBE, Inc. The struggles of cotton were once again on display, with many regulatory and legislative challenges at hand. The story of OOBE was one that left us inspired, with lessons that all companies can learn from like building better relationships, standing on your core values, and creating a company devoted to serving others. It was truly inspiring and one of the more engaging stories heard during the entire event. At PA Group USA, we strongly support the ‘renaissance’ taking place in the textile manufacturing sector of U.S. Manufacturing.

Overall, we had a fantastic time at the 2015 Southern Textile Association Annual Meeting, and we plan to continue supporting the STA and everything it stands for well into the future. If you are an apparel or textile manufacturer, we hope to have the opportunity to connect with you at future events. If you have questions about ERP solutions for apparel & textile or MES solutions like machine monitoring, Planning & Scheduling, and PLM, be sure to contact us to find out what we can do for you.

View a case study to discover how PA Group supported the lean manufacturing initiatives of Phifer Inc. with our full suite of MES solutions.